In this article, we will discuss the runline in baseball betting, including how it works and why you might want to use it
What Is the Runline?
The runline is the best way of estimating the total amount of runs that will be scored in a baseball game. Overnight and daily runs lines are available for most MLB matchups, as well as select games from the Japanese leagues and the NCAA. The runline is also available for college football and basketball games, but only online at Bovada.lv. The runline is based on a simple yet effective form of parlay betting — combining multiple runs bets into one wager. Let’s take a quick look at how it works:
How Does the Runline Work?
The runline is a combination of four individual wagers. Each one of these wagers stipulates that the bettor will receive whatever amount is necessary to achieve a set target score. For example, if you are wagering on the New York Yankees and it is the third inning and the score is 2-0, your wager for the inning will be +2 runs. If the Yankees score four more runs in the third inning, your wager will be +6 runs. The runline uses a combination of run- and game-related statistics to create these exact wagers. Additionally, the runline takes into account the total amount of runs that have been scored in recent games in order to provide the best possible representation of how the upcoming matchup will unfold. The following are the four individual wagers that make up the runline:
Yankees plus two runs
The first and default wager for the runline is the Yankees team score plus two runs. As the name would suggest, this wager requires the user to pick New York to score at least two runs, with a maximum of two runs being accepted. This is the most popular wager for the runline, due both to its simplicity and its wide availability. However, it also means that if the game goes according to plan, the user will lose his or her entire bet. This is why many consider this to be the riskiest wager for making on the runline. It is usually placed at 50:1 odds, with the potential to win or lose the entire bet based on the final score of the game.
Outs +1 run
The second wager on the runline is the outs score adjusted by +1 run. The Out wager requires the user to predict that at least one run will be scored by the team that is not currently leading the game. The maximum amount that can be won or lost on this wager is +1 run, so it is typically placed at 15:1 odds with a potential to win or lose the entire bet based on the game’s final score.
Over +1 run
The third wager on the runline is the over +1 run. This wager requires the user to predict that the score of the game will be at least +1 run higher than the current score. The maximum amount that can be won or lost on this wager is +1 run, so it is typically placed at 10:1 odds with a potential to win or lose the entire bet based on the game’s final score.
Under +1 run
The fourth and final wager on the runline is the under +1 run. This wager requires the user to predict that the score of the game will be at least +1 run lower than the current score. The maximum amount that can be won or lost on this wager is +1 run, so it is typically placed at 5:1 odds with a potential to win or lose the entire bet based on the game’s final score.
Based on the outcome of the four individual wagers used to make up the runline, a winning runline wager will result in an outcome that is within 2.5 runs of the actual score of the game. This is made possible by using a method of variance reduction to create a more precise representation of the runs that will be scored in the upcoming game. Imagine that you have placed four individual +1 run wagers on a game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. In this case, the variance reduction applied to your wagers would make your overall wager +3 runs. In the event that the Giants and the Dodgers score the same amount of runs, your overall wager would be even. However, if the Dodgers score one more run than the Giants, you would lose your entire wager, as the variance on this particular outcome would be +4 runs.
Why Should You Use the Runline in Baseball Betting?
The runline allows you to enter four individual wagers on the same game, with each one relying on a different prediction to determine the amount that will be won or lost. For example, if you are using the runline on the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers game mentioned previously, you would place the (+1 run) wager on the Yankees team, the (+1 run) wager on the Dodgers, the (+2 run) wager on the Giants, and the (+1 run) wager on the underdogs (Bruins vs. Raptors in this example).
By using four independent wagers, you can reduce the amount of variance in your overall wager. This is important because, as we mentioned previously, a losing wager on the runline will result in an outcome that is +4 runs higher or lower than the actual game score. Using the fourth outfielder rule, your four individual wagers and their corresponding outcomes would look like this:
- Yankees +2 runs
- Outs +1 run
- Over +1 run
- Under +1 run
As a result of variance reduction, your overall wager will be close to what you were aiming for — a perfect 10:1 split. Plus, you get to enjoy the perks of combining multiple runs wagers without having to make a massive bet (for example, many bookmakers will not allow you to bet over $5,000 on individual runs).
Additionally, using the runline allows you to continue making wagers on a game that is still in play. This means that you can keep placing wagers on the game, even though it is already over. For example, if the game is heading into extra innings and you have a feeling that it is going to be close, you can place a (+1 run) wager on the over. In this case, you would need the (+1 run) wager to win, resulting in a payout of +1:1 odds. If the over wager wins, you can then continue making wagers on the game, with each one being successively tighter (i.e., closer to perfection). This is possible because winning or losing an individual wager on the runline does not affect the standing of your other wagers. You can’t do this in traditional parlay betting, as multiple winning bets reduces your overall winnings and vice versa.
When Is the Best Time to Use the Runline In Baseball?
The ideal time to use the runline in baseball is in the offseason, before the start of the regular season. This is when the best odds are available and there is the least amount of variance in the statistics used to create the line. For example, if you are using the runline for an MLB game that will take place in the upcoming weekend, you will need to check the league schedule to see which games are on during the off-season.
As for when is the best time to use the under or over wagers on the runline, this will vary based on the matchup. If you are using these wagers on a game between two strong teams, such as the Yankees and the Dodgers, then you will want to avoid putting them in until just before the start of the season. Otherwise, you run the risk of having them hit during a time when the results of your wagers are not applicable.
How Do You Calculate the Odds of a Baseball Game Using the Runline?
In order to calculate the odds of a baseball game using the runline, you will need to consult the website for the league in question. Once you have found this information, you can easily access the current season’s schedule, along with the relevant results for each game. Based on this data, you will be able to generate accurate probabilities for each inning and each play in the game. For example, if you are using the runline to predict the outcome of a Cleveland Indians vs. New York Yankees game, you would need to consult both the MLB and the Yankees websites to find the relevant information.